On average, someone with diabetes spends 8,760 hours per year fending for themselves. And, only 28 minutes a year with their doctor1.
It is therefore very important that you continuously maintain high motivation levels to be able to manage your diabetes well. However, it is easier said than done. Diabetes can often get tiring and on some days you might even experience diabetes burnout.
What is diabetes burnout?
Managing diabetes requires you to make a lot of changes in your life: taking medicine, checking blood sugar, and taking on new eating and physical activity habits. Keeping track of all these changes can feel overwhelming. It can also begin to feel like diabetes controls your life.
In this article, we present some quick tips to keep yourself motivated as you travel through the ups & downs of diabetes management.
Good control translates into better health outcomes: Regularly remind yourself that the risk of developing diabetes-related complications is significantly less when your diabetes is well-controlled. Also, tell yourself that it is important to be well-controlled right from the time diabetes is diagnosed. An early intensive control has a legacy effect that helps in minimizing long-term micro and macrovascular complications.
Talk about diabetes with your friends & family members: Involve your inner circle of family and friends in your diabetes journey. Share your success stories and challenges with them. This will help you to clear your mind and provide a fresh perspective of things. They may also provide you with useful advice, hints and tips.
Join a support group: It is a great idea to join a diabetes support group either online or offline. There are various support groups on different social media platforms that are dedicated towards providing support to people living with diabetes. You can use that space for discussing the issues that you face in living with diabetes. You can also check out the mydailysugar support group on facebook.
Gamification: All of us love a challenge, especially one that summons a sense of competition. Look at the innumerable games that are available on your phone, tablet, or desktop, with just a click. It is sometimes a good idea to gamify your diabetes management too. You can involve your peers or friends with diabetes and have a monthly target to achieve. You can then reward the members who successfully complete the challenge.
Become a volunteer: Join in hands with a local hospital or clinic to become a volunteer and help newly diagnosed people with diabetes by sharing your experience and learning.
You can also use the below checklist to pep yourself up whenever you are feeling down.
The diabetes pep-up checklist:
I will pick one incident of when I feel frustrated about managing my diabetes and talk to someone I trust such as a friend or doctor about these feelings
I will identify the life stresses that make it harder for me to manage my diabetes and do something about them
During the next week, I will try one strategy to help manage stress associated with diabetes (e.g., take a walk, yoga, relaxation exercise etc)
Remember that constant stress is not good for your diabetes and can also lead to other co-morbidities. If you or a loved one thinks you might be depressed, discuss it with your healthcare team. Help is always available.